My talk, intentionally provocative, was supposed to give an outside perspective on dialogue to women on both sides of the conflict in Northern Ireland–women who have been meeting over time to work on reconciliation.
I hope I communicated that while there is certainly a time for parties in conflict to talk, there is also a time when we should refuse to talk.
For Palestinians who are suffering from fake “negotiations” that are clearly intended only to prolong the status quo, there is reason to refuse to talk. As long as Israel has no intention of enabling a just, sustainable solution, then boycott tactics make much more sense.
I also want to thank the amazing folks at Community Foundation for Northern Ireland for taking me on a truly life-changing political tour of Belfast. Among other things, I learned that Belfast is full of walls — reminiscent of Israel’s Annexation Wall — and they are called “peace walls!”
It might sound crazy, but I look forward to the day when everyone who suffered in this long, stupid Israel-Palestine conflict can talk about “the past” and have a nice lunch together while talking about reconciliation. But as I said to the women in Belfast, now we’re busy enough dealing with the present.